Gloria Steinem speaking in Seattle recently reminded us the definition of Feminism is the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. At some point, likely the 1970’s, feminism became a bad word. As a society we need to bring it back to its original intent and practice it.
In 2009 feminist and role model Jimmy Carter wrote an article “Losing my religion for equality”. The article describes his struggle and brake from the Southern Baptist church in support of human rights and equality. In it he writes:
“The truth is that male religious leaders have had – and still have – an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions – all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.”
With feminism there is no extremism, no racism, no sexism.
Our most violent societies are ones that don’t support feminism and actively oppress women. We are in the midst of a third world war with 65 countries involved including 667 Militias-guerrillas and separatist groups, leaving a numbing trail of death, destruction and millions of refugees without a nation or place. Clearly it will take more than feminism to bring about peace, although peace won’t happen without it.
The UN has a policy to include women in their peace keeping efforts believing “women and men experience conflict differently and therefore understand peace differently. Recognizing and integrating these differences – known as gender perspectives – into all aspects of UN peace operations, is essential for the success of the UN’s peacekeeping efforts”. When women have an equal say at the table along with other diversities we all benefit.
Please, when you see anti-feminism in action… call it out, respectfully. Without feminism there cannot be peace.